What is palliative care?
Dealing with serious illness, no matter the stage, can come with emotional, psychosocial and/or physical struggles for both the patient and their families. Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is a highly specialized care that focuses on alleviation of a patient’s suffering and stress from an illness – regardless of severity. Palliative care professionals can help with pain and symptom management, as well as working with the patient and his or her family in setting goals and making decisions about the patient’s long term care.
Palliative Care offers support to patients and families as they face the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of living with serious illnesses. It is appropriate at any age and can be administered alongside of curative treatments. This type of care is increasingly used with regard to diseases such as chronic, progressive pulmonary disorders; renal disease; chronic heart failure; HIV/AIDS; cancer and progressive neurological conditions.
Mercy Palliative Care
Mercy’s Palliative Care team provides patients and their loved ones relief from suffering by treating pain and other distressing symptoms, psychological and spiritual care, a support system to help the individual live as actively as possible and a support system to sustain the individual's family. The Palliative Care team consists of physicians, nurses, social workers and pastoral care providers offering inpatient and outpatient services. They also partner very closely with Mercy’s Cancer Center–the only cancer center in Iowa named as a participate site in the National Cancer Institute Communicate Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP)–to provide care specifically for patients and their families as they face the challenges of a cancer diagnosis.
“At Mercy Palliative Care, we strive to create an environment of care and comfort for patients through excellence in pain and symptom management,” says Joan Beard, recent appointee to the board for the American Society for Pain Management Nursing and Director for Mercy Pain & Palliative Care Services.
Want to learn more?
For more information, or to refer a patient, please contact the Community Palliative Care Nurse at (515) 643-4919.